Class Notes 2008
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Here's what we did in 2008 -  Please send any news to Mike Wellner so that all can share.

Spring '08 Heard from Bill Ealer, who reports that he’s been at the Pennsylvania College of Technology since graduating from the ‘Tute.    He’s been a registered architect for the last dozen years or so, and has been an arbitrator for the AAA (American Arbitration Association) since 1972.     Bill lives in Williamsport, PA, where he serves on the Town Board, and on the Historical Architectural Board, where he was Chair for twenty years.   And he’s done a bit of traveling as well since leaving Troy, visiting England, France, Belgium, Germany and Holland (my kind of guy!).  You can catch up with Bill at 

Ed Gelber sent in a long report to say (this is important!) that he and his wife Laura actually went back to campus this past Fall for the first time since graduation.  A direct quote:  “It was truly amazing to see the new changes intermixed with the old familiar past.  Having purchased a second home in nearby Canaan, N.Y., it was an easy hop.  A campus tour including Walker Lab brought back old memories of an explosion in the organic Chem Lab, which sent me running for one of those emergency showers only to stand under a torrent of rust.” 

 After graduation, Ed & Laura bounced around the East Coast while getting educated then drafted then educated some more before finally settling in Coral Gables, FL where Laura got her law degree, and Ed finished off a postdoctoral fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.   Ed has been practicing ophthalmology for some thirty years, and (thanks to a great education) is still going strong.  He and Laura have two sons and three grandchildren all living in the Miami area.  Most of his recreational time is spent fly-fishing in the backcountry of the Everglades and Florida Keys.  In fact, his return to campus was prompted by a discussion with the materials engineering faculty regarding a patent application for a new fishing device.  After all, every fisherman will tell you that he always needs more fishing gear.  Any classmates passing through who have an interest in getting out into the Glades should feel free to get in touch with Ed at   

Also heard from Guido Karcher, P.E, who received ASME’s Melvin R. Green Codes and Standards Medal at the 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, held in Seattle in November. The award recognizes his outstanding leadership in the advancement of ASME codes and standards, including the development of state-of-the-art standards and promoting the global recognition of ASME.

Guido retired from Exxon Research and Engineering Co. in Florham Park, N.J., after serving 30 years as an internationally recognized engineering adviser on pressure vessel, piping and tankage design, construction and maintenance. Since 1994, he has been providing consulting engineering services in these areas for several companies in the petrochemical and pressure equipment manufacturing industries. He is an ASME life fellow, author of numerous technical papers and presentations, and patent holder. Feel free to contact him at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.  (from Meg)

Your faithful class correspondent Mike Wellner reports that he and his better half just returned from a week-long cruise aboard with WindSurf, sailing out of Barbados, and calling at St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Barths, and Ile de Saintes.  All in all it was a great week of fun in the sun.   Otherwise life in the big city continues to treat us well; we keep busy with lots of Broadway shows, first run movies, and lots of dinners out.  And of course lots of volunteer work for our alma mater!   I’d love to hear from everyone:  just drop me a note ( and I’ll add your news to the next column. 


Summer '08 Had a very nice note from an old freshman-year friend of mine (and “A” dorm resident), Allan Warshawsky, who has been living in Israel for several years.  He’s still married to his Skidmore sweetheart, Sheila, and they have three married kids and nine grandchildren.  Sheila has just retired as an administrator in the International School of Medicine, tied with Columbia, at Ben Gurion University.  Allan and his son Jonathan have set up a firm in the USA doing portfolio management.  That company, Hansbury, is registered as a Financial Manager with Smith Barney, and boasts both Israeli and U.S. clients.  In addition, Allan’s volunteer activities continue unabated:  he is a Board member of Ben Gurion University, a member of its audit committee, Chair of Finance Committee of his synagogue, and general "repair man" for his three kids’ homes.  See – an engineering education really does come in handy!  He also serves on the Board 

of a public Israeli Candy Company, and still does some Industrial Management consulting.  For our 45th reunion coming next year Allan may just be the alum who travels the farthest distance to be with us.  Drop Allan a note at  and encourage him to join us next year (Note: reunion ‘09 will be held in October.) 

Also had a brief note from former Phalanx member Ron Posner, who reports that he just became CEO of eChinaCash, ( in Beijing. This position involves regular commuting from San Francisco to Beijing – twelve hours each way (and you thought that you had a long commute!)  Get a hold of Ron at to get all his latest info. 

Gary Gulden wrote to say that he and Toodie just returned from a National Geographic trip to Antarctica with Lindblad Expeditions.   The trip was a 40th anniversary gift to each other, and Gary said that it was a fascinating adventure.
The scenery and wildlife were outstanding, amplified and complemented by the staff of naturalists, a very interesting and well-traveled group of fellow adventurers, a skilled ships crew, and great food.  After making the (somewhat rough) crossing of the notorious Drake Passage, Gary and Toodie were able to go on land at various points each day, and even do some sea kayaking among the icebergs, seals, and penguins.  Drop Gary a note at
m and tell him to e-mail you a few pictures from the bottom of the world!

Henry Gurshman, Esq. is proud to announce that on March 19th  he was honored as “Pro Bono Attorney Of the Year” by the Middlesex County (NJ) Bar Association.  Good show – although Henry admits that it's a curious feeling to be praised for working for nothing!  (Perhaps they have discovered his true worth.)  Henry also reports that his grandson, Samuel K. Srivastava, is now 20 months old, continues to develop apace and shows much promise – although so far he has not expressed any specific interest in RPI.  But there’s time!  Sam(and his father, Sunil K. Srivastava and mother, Rachel J. (Gurshman) Srivastava), live in Decatur, GA, just outside Atlanta.   Find out more info by contacting Henry at


Winter '08-'09 Had a short note from Peter Benjamin, who reports that he has retired (if you want to call it that) from formal employment.  He remains a member of the Washington Metro Transit Board of Directors; is a volunteer leader of a Disaster Action Team for the Red Cross; and is in his 21st year of volunteering with his wife Kathy in a local soup kitchen.  He and Kathy have two kayaks and a motor home in which they entertain themselves.   Peter also plays racquetball regularly, and is a private pilot.   He is also active in the politics of his hometown of Garrett Park, where is a former mayor.  Peter also teaches Sunday School in his church, and is active on several church committees.  And with four children and four grandchildren, he and Kathy have plenty of family activities to fill up their "free" time.  His friends say that he has "failed" retirement.  Ask him yourself by contacting Peter at  

Caught up with Chris Marinis, who spent his entire working career with “Ma Bell,” starting out at New York Telephone Company (like I did) right after graduation.  Chris lives on Long island, and was lucky enough to retire from the world of telephones at age 57.    Right now he is awaiting the birth of a grandchild:  his son and wife, who live in Greenwich Village, are expecting any day now.  Good luck to the whole family!  Find out more from Chris by e-mailing him at   

Another classmate who spent his entire career at “Ma Bell” is Frank Gumper, who is active in many areas at RPI, including being chairman of the Rensselaer Annual Fund.  Frank is active in the New York City alumni chapter, and participates in many of its events.  As of this writing Frank and his wife, Joanne, are off on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, but he promises that they’ll both be at our 45th reunion!  You can contact Frank at  

One of my more interesting alumni chats was with Tony Linn, who lives in Closter, NJ, right across the Hudson from NY City.  He is still working full time – running five short line railroads, all in Tennessee!  (Not many other alums can make that statement!)  Tony started his railroad adventures with the New York Central Railroad (remember that – seems like a hundred years ago).  That start led him to do some consulting work for some of the major railroads in the country, one of which was looking to spin-off a short line railroad that they owned.  Tony, along with a group of investors, bought it, then another, and another, and now they are railroad magnates.  Now if only they had a railroad in the Troy area we could all take rides during reunion week-end!   Get all the details by contacting Tony at  

If Tony Clapes actually makes it back for reunion (Oct 2-4, 2009) he’ll likely get the award from the alum who has traveled the furthest.  Tony is living in Honolulu, where he’s been for several years.  He retired in 1997 as the Assistant General Counsel at IBM.  Now his career has taken a significant change – he reports that he is actually working on a comic book!  Get the full story from Tony at  On the other hand, it might be a close race with Alan Warshawsky (, currently living in Israel with his entire family.  If you know either one, send them and e-mail and convince them to join us in October. 

The Rensselaer Alumni Association reports that it has awarded this year’s  Thomas W. Phelan Fellows Award to Jeff Gural.  Jeff is Chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, a full service commercial real estate firm with offices in more than thirty cities on six continents.  He is responsible for the management and leasing of more than eight million square feet of office space, including one hundred fifty buildings in the New York City metropolitan area.   Jeff is very involved in many charities in the New york City area, and serves on the Boards of The Cooper Union and The New School, among many other endeavors.  Jeff and Paula recently donated $1 million to establish the Paula and Jeffrey R. Gural ’64 Scholarship for undergraduate students majoring in Civil Engineering.  Jeff is a member of the Stephen Van Rensselaer Society of Patroons.  Jeff can tell you much more:  e-mail him at  

Just found out that Frank Fischer has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Corevalve Inc., headquartered in Irvine, California.    Corevalve has a proprietary heart valve replacement product that can provide an alternative to open heart surgery.    Frank has more than twenty-five years of senior management experience in the medical device industry.  He has served on the NeuroPace Board of Directors since 1998, and was appointed its CEO in January, 2000.  Before that he was President, CEO and Director of Ventritex, a company that has pioneered implantable cardiac defibrillators.  You can congratulate Frank by e-mailing him at  

Also spoke with John Wakelin, who retired in 1985 after a twenty-year career as an Ordnance Officer in the US Army.  He is now in the world of academe, teaching web design at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.  He can fill you in if you e-mail him at  

Tom Luciano reports that he is living the good life in sunny California.  He retired from a long career as a commercial airline pilot, and is now flying for recreation with a friend, often to nearby Mexico.  Tom reports that he is on the verge of buying a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, which seats six.  No excuse now for not making it back for reunion!  Catch up with Tom at